SEOUL: Chung Mong-joon has become the second presidential candidate to level an accusation of dirty tricks against world football federation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
At the weekend European governing body UEFA complained to FIFA about reports in Germany that a document criticising Michel Platini had emanated from within world federation headquarters in Zurich.
Now Chung, the South Korean billionaire who declared his own presidential candidacy on Monday, has responded angrily to reports about suspicions concerning the purpose behind his “charitable donations” to Haiti and Pakistan.
In 2010 Chung, scion of the Hyundai business family, sent $500,000 to Haiti after the earthquake and a further $400,000 to Pakistan after floods; in both cases the money was intended to redevelop football projects and facilities.
FIFA has been already investigating the diversion of various other donations intended for to Haiti during the CONCACAF presidential reign of Trinidad Jack Warner and the Korean money is another item on the list.
It has emerged that the Asian Football Confederation has also FIFA’s ethics committee to inquire into the circumstances of the donation to Pakistan and the reason why nothing has apparently yet been done with the money.
The concern is that the donations were issued at a time when South Korea was campaigning to win host rights to the 2022 World Cup, awarded ultimately to Qatar.
Chung was a member of the FIFA executive committee which voted on host rights, in December 2010, for both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. He was deposed in 2011 as Asia’s FIFA vice-president.
In a counter-attacking statement, Chung pointed out that he had been donating money to causes at home and abroad since the 1990s.
The statement said: “Recent media reports allege that FIFA has started an investigation into FIFA honorary vice-president Dr Chung Mong-Joon’s 2010 donations to disaster relief funds to Haiti and Pakistan.
“If these reports are true, we condemn this as a cynical and unethical effort by FIFA to misrepresent even charitable donations for political manipulation.”
FIFA will stage an extraordinary election congress next February 26 to chooce to successor to Sepp Blatter who is standing down in the wake of a raft of corruption scandals.
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